Spring is breeding season for the South African Weed Orchid, Disa bracteata, and the Special Weed Orchid Terminators are ready for action! Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) hosted three weekend events to help the Friends of Merri Creek’s SWOT team stop this weed invading Reservoir’s state-significant Ngarri-djarrang grassland reserve.
Each Weed Orchid flower can produce tens of thousands of tiny seeds which are easily spread on the wind, vehicles, tools and clothing, threatening native grasslands around Melbourne. Its fleshy leaves and tubers compete with indigenous wildflowers like orchids, lilies and other herbs for prime space between the grass tussocks.
Citizen Science is a phrase that’s bandied about a lot at the moment. You might think it’s a new activity but it's not. Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has been at the forefront of citizen science water quality monitoring. As early as 1992 we initiated a citizen science program that involved local schools in water quality monitoring of Merri Creek.
By 2017/18 MCMC's Waterwatch program had consolidated to support 30 volunteer monitors at 15 regular monitoring sites. In 2017/18 we also educated around 2,000 students at more than 20 educational organisations (from early years up to tertiary level) on waterway health. The data from our monitoring sites is lodged via the Waterwatch Victoria online data portal and is used by EPA Victoria for their Annual Report card of waterway health.
Timely action by Moreland Council has saved two critical parcels of land next to Merri Creek from residential development. Excellent campaigns from the local community, Friends of Merri Creek (FoMC), Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) and in Fawkner, the Fawkner Residents Association led to this result.
Council negotiated a successful offer for a parcel of VicRoads land at McBryde St Fawkner. This significant piece of land abuts Merri Creek and has been an effective part of the open space corridor for many years. Council also made a successful purchase on the open market of a prominent block of private land at 2 Spry St Coburg North, next to the Merri Creek Trail and Merri Creek.
We congratulate our member group, Friends of Merri Creek, on gaining the following grants. Merri Creek Managment Committee staff assisted the Friends with the grant applications, using our extensive ecological, community and project management knowledge.
$21,635 from Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority for the project: Returning and Re-learning: bringing cultural burns and locally rare plants back to Fawkner grasslands. This project aims to return Traditional Owner management knowledge and rare plant species to Bababi Djinanang native grassland by Merri Creek in Fawkner.
$8,800 from Moreland City Council Arts Activation Grant program for the Merri Murnong group's Murnong Harvest 2018 by Merri Creek in Coburg. The Merri Murnong group is a sub-group of the Friends of Merri Creek.
$3,500 from Darebin City Council for the Friends of Merri Park project to plant Climate Change adapted plants in Merri Park Wetland, Northcote. The Friends of Merri Park is a sub-group of the Friends of Merri Creek.
$500 from Parks Victoria for buckets, gloves, geared loppers, flexi-tubs, and safety glasses for woody weed removal at Bababi Marning native grassland near Cooper St, Campbellfield.
Sincere thanks to the 71 generous donors to our 2018 Appeal to create more habitat for birds along Merri Creek. A total of $12,974 in donations was made to MCMC's Merri Creek Environment Fund. We look forward to letting you know about the creation of bird habitat in a future Merri e-News. If you want to know more about the Fund, check out the web page.
There's been a fantastic response to an initiative by Friends of Merri Creek member Anne Frost for a new group of volunteers to gather monthly on a Wednesday morning to help care for Merri Creek. The group has already held two very successful sessions, working closely with Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) staff on priority activities. 18 volunteers defied a frosty morning on 29 August to help plant native shrubs and do a huge amount of weeding at Blyth St Brunswick East near CERES (see photo). The volunteers did a terrific job in learning to distinguish weeds from native grasses.
Then at their second meeting on 26 September, 10 adults and 2 sharp-eyed school kids searched for and removed 50 invasive South African Weed Orchids at the Ngarri-djarrang Grassland in Reservoir. Afterwards the group enjoyed a tour guided by MCMC (none of them had been to the grassland before).
|24 Feb 2019;|
08:45AM - 10:30AM
Merri Bird Survey #1 in 2019 (continued) - Friends of Merri Creek
|27 Feb 2019;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Wednesday Volunteers - Friends of Merri Creek
|02 Mar 2019;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Friends of Merri Park Litter Clean-up
|03 Mar 2019;|
02:00PM - 03:30PM
Streamteam Water Quality Testing - Friends of Merri Creek
|10 Mar 2019;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Litter Clean Up – Coburg - Friends of Merri Creek
|17 Mar 2019;|
10:00AM - 03:30PM
Waterwatch water quality workshop (MCMC)